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‘Orion makes my farming life easier – it could do the same for you’

To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

As Nick Tyler’s mixed dairy, beef and arable operation has grown, so has his appreciation of Orion Farming Group.

Nick has been a member of the group for more than 15 years and says he won’t be leaving anytime soon.

“I buy all my major inputs through Orion,” he says.

“That’s where my biggest costs are, so that’s where I make the biggest savings.”

Nick has 600 dairy cows, milked three times a day, and 500 head of beef cattle on his family farm at Heddington, North Wiltshire.

He buys all his feed through Orion, including raw materials and concentrates that he mixes on farm, as well as bagged items such as minerals, limestone and urea.

“As far as I’m concerned, there are three great things about Orion,” Nick said. “Saving money on purchases; it’s easy because I don’t have to ring around a load of suppliers; and the single invoice. That makes life much easier for the bookkeeper.”

On the arable side, Nick buys sprays, chemicals, and fuel through Orion.

He said: “They have a great relationship with the companies I prefer, and they get good deals, so it makes sense to let Orion handle my purchasing.

 “I couldn’t get the prices they do as an individual, I simply don’t have the buying power.”

The buying power that Nick enjoys is a result of the great relationship Orion has with a large network of suppliers. Typically, compared to a farmer not in a buying group, our members save around:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

But savings are just one advantage. Taking the fuss out of his farming life is another good reason for Nick to remain a member.

“I put on an email ‘can I have three pallets of this, four pallets of that’, and that’s it, job done,” he says.

“There’s no fuss and that’s what I like. I just want to get good products from a decent supplier at a good price. Orion makes that possible. And at the end of the month the paperwork is all in order.

“Personally, I like the group and won’t change. It makes my farming life easier, and if you’re not a member already, my bet is it could do the same for you.”

‘We’ve been with Orion a long time now and I still feel it’s very worthwhile’

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To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

Organic dairy farmer Jonathon Gantlett is a second-generation member of Orion Farming Group.

His father before him recognised the benefits Orion brings to its members, and passed that wisdom on.

That’s why more than 20 years after the family first joined, Jonathon still finds significant value in being a member.

“Even as an organic operation, there’s a lot Orion can offer us,” he said.

“There are significant savings to be had on the dairy side, bull semen supplies being a major example. We spend thousands on semen each year to ensure we maintain a top-quality herd. I would estimate that being part of Orion saves us around 25% on our annual costs.

 “But it doesn’t stop there. We save a lot across a range of other input costs too, be it dairy sundries, silage additive, building materials, fuel, fencing, oils, net wrap. It all adds up to a good amount.”

Jonathon keeps 180 dairy cows and followers near Shellingford, Oxfordshire, along with 200 ewes that graze the land around a solar panel farm.

He also farms around 200 acres of arable, mainly organic wheat.

He said that being a member of Orion made running his business more efficient, particularly the single invoice he receives at the end of the month.

He said: “Having just one invoice really simplifies our accounts. To have everything set out on one document is extremely useful when reconciling it with the bank.”

It is the great relationship Orion has with a large network of suppliers that enables Jonathon to realise such efficiencies. Typically, compared to a farmer not in a buying group, our members save around:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

Jonathon agrees that these savings, coupled with the single monthly invoice and the buying clout that Orion offers its members, can benefit farmers of all types and sizes.

“As an organic farmer, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking a group like Orion won’t be able to offer you anything,” he said.

“But that simply isn’t true. We have been with Orion for a long time now and I still feel it is very worthwhile, so why not find out for yourself?”

‘I wouldn’t be able to get the same price as Orion, let alone a better one’

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To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

Buying power and the ability to negotiate great prices is something individual farmers often lack.

Better deals only come from bulk buying, a fact appreciated by James Price, a long-time member of Orion Farming Group.

“If you walk into any trade place and pay ‘on account’, they treat you differently to if you’re paying cash,” said James.

“If it’s cash, they know you don’t spend enough to warrant a trade account. And you certainly don’t qualify for much discount. But being a member of Orion gives you that. You have the buying power, the clout, that you don’t have as an individual.”

James runs a large arable operation near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, making his main input costs chemicals, fertiliser and fuel. His father was a member of Orion Farming Group and it was seeing the prices and service that he benefited from that convinced James to continue the membership.

“I’ve inherited my father’s buying strategy,” James said. “But as my farming career has progressed, I’ve been happy to go with it.

“Being a member of Orion means I don’t have to haggle – they do it all for me – and in 90% of cases, I wouldn’t be able to get the same price, let alone a better one.”

It is the great relationship Orion has with a large network of suppliers that enables James to benefit from the best prices we can offer. Typically, compared to a farmer not in a buying group, our members save around:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

But convenience is also a major reason for being a member.

“When it comes to the end of the month,” James said, “we only have to pay one bill. We might have bought chemicals or fertiliser, bags of cement or concrete lintels, it makes no difference, there’s only one bill, which makes the whole process very efficient.”

James added he would definitely recommend Orion to other farmers.  

“If you’re not a member, I would definitely recommend getting in touch,” he said. “Look beyond the upfront costs and you’ll find there are some great savings to be made. You’ll be surprised at the efficiencies Orion can bring to your farm business, both in terms of cost and time.”

‘Orion’s admin costs are peanuts compared to the savings you make’

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To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

If Edward Green could buy all his business inputs through Orion Farming Group, he would.

Edward, who grows barley, rape and wheat on his 760-acre farm at Meysey Hampton, Gloucestershire, is welcoming plans to bring electric suppliers and telephone companies into the buying group’s network.

“We buy everything we can through Orion,” he says. “The more you buy, the better it is, so we’d welcome other business services. Anything Orion does that makes my farm business more efficient is another reason to stay a member.”

Edward joined Orion in 2003 after a family decision to leave the dairy industry and establish an arable operation. Initially, he tried ringing round fertiliser companies for a good deal, but soon realised he needed the buying power of a group.

“I can’t get the deals on fertilisers or chemicals they can,” Edward said. “Orion always comes up trumps on those. Not just with price but with service too. I walk the fields with my agronomist every week and we work out what we’re going to put where.

“He puts the order in and within 48 hours it’s on the farm. A week or 10 days from order and it’s on field, which is a quick turnaround.”

Edward added honest service is another reason he favours Orion.

“They always give an accurate time when product will arrive,” he said.

“They don’t say it’ll be with you on Monday if it’s going to be Wednesday, and if there’s a delay, they always let you know, meaning you can plan. You know where you stand with them, and that’s important.”

The quick service that Edward enjoys is a result of the great relationship Orion has with a large network of suppliers. These relationships enable us to offer our members great savings too. Typically, compared to a farmer not in a buying group, our members save around:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

Edward described the cost of membership as ‘peanuts’ compared to the savings he makes, but added that the savings are more than just financial.

“We get one invoice on the 8th or 9th of the month and they take the money on the 22nd,” he said.

“This gives us plenty of time to go through it, which is a huge time saving compared to ploughing through a pile of separate invoices.

“Being a member makes everything easier and more efficient for us. If you’re not one already, you’ll probably find it would do the same for you.”

‘The savings through Orion can be the difference between profit and loss’

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To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

Bringing clarity to his chemical costs was the impetus for Charles Spencer to first get in touch with Orion Farming Group.

Charles, who runs a mixed arable, dairy, and poultry operation near Warminster, Wiltshire, wanted to separate his chemical costs from his agronomy costs, to better understand his annual spend.

“I was buying chemicals through my agronomist,” Charles said, “and I wanted greater transparency.

“It was immediately obvious Orion could provide the clarity I needed and save me time and money, so I decided to join. I’ve been a member for around 10 years now.”

Over that time, Charles has realised savings on a range of input costs which has helped make his business more profitable.

He said: “It started with chemicals, but I soon began buying seed corn, fertiliser, fuel, and other supplies through Orion. I realised early on that the more you source, the more you save. I even made savings on insurance and health insurance, which I didn’t expect.

“I’m surprised farmers are reluctant to join groups like Orion, the savings add up and can be the difference between profit and loss.”

It is the great relationship Orion has with a large network of suppliers that enables Charles to benefit from great prices. Typically, compared to a farmer not in a buying group, our members save around:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

But it isn’t just cost that has kept Charles a member for a decade; convenience is also an important factor.

“In the past when ordering fuel, I used to ring round a list of suppliers to see which was the cheapest. I don’t do that anymore – I just put a call into Orion,” Charles said.

“That level of service, combined with a single invoice which reduces my admin work, means I’m free to focus on the thing I love the most … running my farm.

 

Why not find out if Orion Farming Group can do the same for you?”

‘I couldn’t go back to individual suppliers now I’m a member of Orion’

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To find out how much your farm business can save with Orion Farming Group, get in touch via our contact form 

Robert Raimes knows all about the benefits that farming co-operatives can bring.

As a farm manager in Lincolnshire he had been a member of one, so when he moved to Hampshire to help run his wife’s family farm, he soon made the decision to join another.

That’s when he found Orion Farming Group.

Robert said: “I was familiar with the buying group principle, so I thought it would be a good thing for us to be part of. I found Orion – there are others down here – but I wanted to be part of one that could provide a full range of inputs including feed, fuel, fertiliser, chemicals and vet meds.  

“Speaking to Orion gave me the confidence they could do that, and at the best prices.”

What clinched the deal for Robert, however, was the single invoice members receive detailing their spend, but leaving them with just one monthly payment to make.

“The single invoice is just brilliant,” Robert said. “We no longer have to deal with a long list of suppliers at the end of the month.

“I find the whole thing a joy and very straight forward. It takes so much stress away from the end of the month. I couldn’t go back to individual suppliers after being a member of Orion.”

Robert and his wife run a mixed arable and beef operation near Alresford in Hampshire, growing wheat, barley and rape, along with 150 hectares of stewardship and a 50-head suckler herd.

The couple also manage four hectares of vineyard, producing English sparkling wine.

Robert admits that sometimes, this can lead to some strange requests. 

“Occasionally, I will put a vineyard order in for a dozen or so chemicals that they don’t recognise, but I’ve never had any problems,” he said.

“They’ve never got it wrong. I just ping Orion an email and within two days, often less, my order is here.”

Cost was also a big factor for Robert when choosing to join Orion. Typically, compared with farmers not in a buying group, our members save:

  • 25% on livestock equipment and animal health products

  • 20% on fuel additives and lubricants

  • 20% on building and maintenance supplies

  • 11.5% on machinery and vehicle parts

  • 10% on general supplies

  • 5.5% on fuel

  • 5% on feed

  • 5% on chemicals

  • 4% on fertiliser and seed

“Before I was using a combined agronomist and chemical supplier, but since joining Orion I buy chemicals through them and use an independent agronomist,” Robert said. 

“That has wiped about 20% off my costs, which across a year is a very significant sum.

“Between that and the convenience of the scheme, I really would recommend Orion Farming Group.

 

Why not find out if they can do the same for you?”

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